I’m not blocked; I have just been busy with other stuff. Like Pinterest, Netflix, and family stuff. Nothing serious. Oooh, I had one job interview. Haven’t heard yea or nay on that yet, so that’s good.
It’s hard to get into a pattern of behaviors and tasks when one is unemployed. I find that things just slip through my fingers and suddenly I have spent all day making my Sims grow tomatoes. A definite weakness upon which I promise to improve.
One thing I did recently was I helped my brother move. Moving is an integral part of the twenty-something lifestyle. As we grow older, we tend to become less migratory and sometimes we even establish ourselves enough to be able to afford movers. A more common milestone at my age is having enough stuff to move that a truck rental is necessary. We all have that list of pals who we have helped in the past and now owe us a favor or two. When the time comes, we call in favors and ask friends with pickups, painting experience, or just nothing better to do to come over and spend the weekend moving. If you are like me, you also have a huge family that may not even call in the owed favors.
I like to imagine that when we get together to do something constructive or creative, my siblings and I form a small but effective work force called the Handy Dandy Sibling Construction Company. Together we can garden, paint, move, design, decorate, bake, and cook our way to a magnificent display of craftsmanship and old-fashioned know-how. For all that I spent most of my childhood wishing I was an only child, I appreciate the way I can mesh my skills with those of my very different but very similar brothers and sisters. Like most siblings, we each have unique personalities and interest, but the commonality that occurs among us is unique to large families. We were raised in the same way by the same parents in very tight quarters; we can almost read each other’s minds as we negotiate our tasks and chat to catch up.
So, my middle little brother, Jed, moved last week and neglected to ask for a lot of help. He called in favors to friends but not to family. Actually, I found out about the move because his wife posted something on Facebook. (sidenote: Facebook is an excellent tool for stalking family) Jed helped Chuck and me move a few years ago, and he has also used a shovel quite a bit around my property, so I guess I sort of owe him. It’s natural enough for me to demand that my younger sibling drop everything to help me when I need them; that’s just how big sisters are. Plus, Jed is pretty much the biggest workhorse I know. He’s huge, strong, good-natured, and smart. It’s hard to believe we are full-blooded siblings, really.
Summer 2011: My tall, thin, hairy, blond-haired, blue-eyed little brother Jed and me (with crazy eyes). His beard is worse now. Ke$ha would be all over him.
I suppose I felt guilty about always using Jed’s muscles, and also a bit bored and useless since I am unemployed, so I volunteered to pitch in. Jed and his wife hated their old apartment – a dim basement hole with little light and no charm. My brother’s new rental is awesome and as I am handy with a paintbrush/terribly lazy when it comes to lifting and hauling, I immediately volunteered to help paint. The dining room is red so I ended up with a Dexter manicure. Pretty sweet.
Then we painted the den/craft room with a taped-off chair rail look. My SIL Alice, Jed’s wife, is very crafty so the room needed to be inspiring. It took all day, but I think she likes it. Also, I helped move furniture around and told embarrassing stories about my brother when he was not there. As is customary, I was provided with food (Thai, Taco Bell, and pizza!) in return for my help. Overall, it was not a bad way to spend my day. Much better than going to two football games with Chuck.
Painting for Jed made me reminisce about my oldest little brother’s last move, too. As I was painting the den in Jed’s new home, I recounted this conversation between Jon, his wife Angela, and me:
Angela: I want the living room to be red and tan, with a white chair rail. Can you help me pick out the shades of paint?
Me: Of course!
Angela: Should we put the red on top or on the bottom?
Me: Your couch is red, so I would say the red paint should be on the top.
Jon: I read on the internet that if you have a darker color on the top half of the walls, it makes the room seem smaller and the ceiling seem lower.
Me: It’s your living room, not a palace ballroom.
Angela: Trust your sister. She is right. We will buy the paint and the chair rail tomorrow when you are at work.
Jon: Chair rail was invented to protect the plaster walls in dining rooms from being dented by chairs being pushed into them. The living room does not need chair rail because it is not a dining room and we have drywall, not plaster.
Angela and me: Shut up.
Jon says he does not understand the chair rail but he also freely admits that aesthetics are lost on him. Good thing he is so easy-going!
Xoxoxoxo I love my brothers and their wives!